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Scherff is as tough as they come

BY DANNY PAYNE | SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 5:00 AM

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It seemed there wouldn’t be any possibility Iowa’s Brandon Scherff would play against Iowa State.

He had a knee scope on the Tuesday prior to the Sept. 13 game, and doctors told him he’d be out for a week or two.

But that wasn’t the case for Iowa’s left tackle. Scherff said he practiced Thursday, and then, despite a limp when he walked into Kinnick Stadium on game day, he suited up and played against the Cyclones.

There weren’t any visible effects of the procedure, either. The 6-5, 320-pound mauler was his usual self on the Kinnick turf.

“The trainers did a heck of a job, and I felt ready to go, so I told them that,” Scherff said after the 20-17 loss to the Cyclones. “I felt good coming off a scope like that. I was just trying to be a player for my team.”

That Scherff played didn’t surprise the vast majority of those who know him. His high-school coach at Denison High, Dave Wiebers, said he knew Iowa’s left tackle would play simply because that’s the type of guy he is.

Damond Powell had a similar belief.

“He’s a man among boys out there,” the wide receiver said. “I never counted him out when he had his surgery because, like I said, he’s a very tough person, and he’s determined.

“It’s kind of the norm with Scherff now.”

There was an exception, however.

Austin Blythe, Iowa’s starting center, couldn’t believe Scherff was on the field for the 20-17 loss to the Cyclones.

“Yeah, definitely [surprised me],” Blythe said. “Obviously, he’s very tough, to have surgery on Tuesday and come back and play the same weekend is pretty tough.”

If there’s been a constant in Iowa’s offense — which has looked spotty, at best, through first three games — it’s been Scherff. He’s continually shut down members of opposing teams’ front seven.

It’s because he is such tough guy, according to those around him. Not just a football player but also a tough person.

The knee-surgery story is just another chapter to what has become a national story since the summer. College football fans across the nation know about the viral video of Scherff hang-cleaning 443 pounds three times and making it look easy.

What’s more impressive, it wasn’t too long ago that Scherff suffered a broken fibula against Penn State in 2012. It ended his season.

Scherff showed no signs of that injury hindering him during a junior campaign that put him in the national spotlight and caused analysts to put him on their NFL draft big boards. He was on the preseason Outland Trophy Watch List, an award given to college football’s best offensive lineman.

The toughness is an aspect of Scherff the Hawkeyes don’t expect to go away any time soon.

“It didn’t surprise me at all because Scherff is a very tough individual and you can’t count him out in anything,” Powell said. “We never doubted Scherff was going to play.

“When we saw him in the locker room and he was suiting up, it was just like, ‘OK, we’re rolling.’ ”


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